After breaking the hearts of Arkansas in the latest edition of the Battle Line “Rivalry” to end their 2016 season, Missouri has once again gone into the┬áNatural State and come out with a big win, this time on the recruiting trail. Late Wednesday night defensive lineman Akial Byers from Fayetteville announced his commitment to the Tigers.

This announcement looks to end the long and winding recruitment of Byers, the Arkansas’ No. 2 ranked prospect in the 2017 recruiting cycle. After never receiving serious interest from the Razorbacks, Byers committed to Alabama last summer. However, Byers did not sign with the Crimson Tide on National Signing Day and instead looked to be forced to go the junior college route. After making the necessary grades to enroll this spring, Byers is shifting gears and now appears headed to Columbia.

Here’s Byers’ statement announcing his commitment to Missouri:


The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Byers is rated as a four-star prospect┬áin the 2017 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports Composite Ratings, and was an Under Armour All-American. His offer sheet included Alabama, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oklahoma among others. Should he sign with Missouri as expected, he will become the school’s highest-rated prospect enrolling for next season.

Check out his junior season highlight reel here. Hard to imagine Byers doesn’t make an impact on the Tigers defense next season.

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